Commission, NTIA seek comments on spectrum-sharing test bed

The FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting comment on a wide range of issues related to establishing a test bed that would be used to evaluate methods disparate frequency users can employ to share spectrum to allow more intense use of the finite resource.

The request for comments comes in response to recommendations from Commerce Department reports that a spectrum-sharing innovation test bed be established to assist in planning the best way to allow federal and non-federal users to share spectrum. The Commerce Department recommendation called for the FCC and the NTIA to reserve about 10MHz of spectrum from each of their jurisdictions for the test bed.

The request for comments is intended to make certain test bed experiments produce informative results that assist in evaluating spectrum-sharing opportunities. The request for comments addresses three areas:

· the goal and scope of the program;

· the logistics of creating and using the test bed program; and

· a conclusion and evaluation the program.

The request seeks answers to 18 specific questions including topics such as:

· whether or not the goals of the test bed should include testing dynamic spectrum access techniques, developing new technologies for public safety and streamlining spectrum coordination processes between federal and non-federal users;

· whether it should be used for a single or multiple experiments;

· what factors should be used to determine the spectrum dedicated to the test bed;

· whether experimental licensing or rulemaking should be used to establish the test bed; and

· whether users of the test bed should be required to submit a report at the conclusion of their tests.

Those wishing to file comments must do so no later than July 10, and reply comments are due no later than July 24.

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